One Day in Boston: A Cruiser’s Guide

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Boston is one of my favorite American cities, and I got the chance to visit not once, but twice in the past month—first with my family after our Montreal to Boston cruise, and then with just my husband after we did the reverse route as the first leg of Semester at Sea. But even if you only have one day in Boston on your own cruise, you can cover plenty of ground, so strap on your walking shoes and get moving.

Since SVV and a couple others in our battalion had never been to Boston before, we did what every first-time tourist does and walked the Freedom Trail.

Let me just tell you that walking a 2.5-mile pathway through the most tourist-infested corridor of the city is a challenge during the summer, but tack on 100 degrees and approximately 100,000 percent humidity, and we all looked like we’d been swimming by the time we reached our first stop, which was where Paul Revere was buried.

Not his actual gravestone—actually, below is—though I feel somewhat dirty posting this picture. Don’t tell me you weren’t thinking the same. Polite thinkers that we were, our eight-person group erupted into giggles when we saw it-—especially after reading the choice of words below the monument.

It took us the better part of the day to complete the walk, primarily because keeping eight people together in an uncrowded environment is hard enough, try doing the same in a very touristy atmosphere in one of the most historic cities in our country.

Plus, at one point a gaggle of women tried to entice one member, Tom, away from us to follow them around as their personal photographer.

It took ages to make it over the bridge, where we finally took a break down at the waterfront. I was ready to trudge back to the hotel at this point for one much-needed shower-and-nap combo, but my mom’s energy never ceases as she prodded us with a poker to keep everyone going until the very end. (A visit from an ice cream truck helped.)

The trail ends at Bunker Hill in Charlestown. Such a shame the inside of the monument was closed, as I was really looking forward to climbing those 294 stairs up to the top of a stuffy room, let me tell you (note the sarcasm). I did that last time I was in town, and my butt ached for a solid week afterward!

That night, SVV and I had a lovely dinner with blogger friends and their menfolk, before turning in at the Radisson for the night and getting up early the next day to head over the bridge and further our knowledge. Our one day in Boston was jam-packed, so it felt nice to finally rest our legs.

I could have gone to college here, I think—there are some definite similarities between Cambridge and the university where I spent my first two years—though something tells me if I found San Francisco too unbearably cold, I definitely couldn’t hack a Massachusetts winter.

Looking for more Boston travel tips? Start here:

COMMENTS
  • September 2, 2011

    Curious, which restaurants did you go to? I always like to hear what places people choose to go to when they’re from out of town.

    • September 2, 2011
      Kristin

      We had dinner at 94 Mass per the recommendation of Sues and Susie, who are both locals. The food was REALLY good, but it got a little too loud after around 8pm (i.e. morphed from an intimate dining experience to a club-like scene). Everywhere else we went was just out of convenience–stop here for a beer, grab ice cream there–and I couldn’t really tell you where as I didn’t write down names!

      Oh! But we were there for Restaurant Week just prior to Semester at Sea and had breakfast/coffee at the Thinking Cub and lunch at Marliave.

  • September 2, 2011

    I lived in Boston for 7 years and miss it! Can’t wait to go with the kids!

  • September 2, 2011
    Sandy

    I walked that trail many times with people who came to visit Justin and I. Once, we were at one of the many graveyards on that trail…. some young girl said, “who is John Hancock?” Seriously, she was serious. I about died! On another note, did you enjoy a cold Sam Adams across the street from a cold Sam Adams. 🙂 Love your blog.

    • September 2, 2011
      Kristin

      Thanks, Sandy! I did have a Sam Adams–I was traveling with my dad and a few other Tullahoma folk, so as you can imagine, stops for “refreshments” were frequent–but I missed sipping it across from that other cold Sam Adams! Next time…

  • September 2, 2011

    Congrats on making it through the freedom trail, it only took a bribe of red sox shirt & hat to finish the trail, but for us, the USS constitution was worth it.

  • September 2, 2011

    As usual, I just love your posts and your pictures!!!

    I host a Friday Daydreamin’ meme each Friday to feature travel photos & trips – this would be perfect for it, if you’d like to link up. Not taking away from Photo Friday, as I link up for that one too!

    Thanks for considering!

    Happy Labor Day Weekend!

    ~Becca

  • September 2, 2011

    I love Boston! Definitely one of my favorite cities! My sister and brother-in-law lived there for about 10 years, and I made many a visit to them and toodled all around the city. I think my favorite was the whale watching, though considering that my sister worked for a radio station at the time, the free concerts we go to go to were pretty wicked, too. 🙂

  • September 2, 2011

    Love Boston. Loooove Boston. Don’t get to go nearly enough, though. But now that we’ve got my best friend AND my favorite aunt living there, we’re going to try to make more trips.

    Also? We went there for spring break our jr year of college and did the Freedom Trail. And we tooooootally have a picture of me next to the penis grave. Might be my favorite picture from that entire trip.

    • September 2, 2011
      Kristin

      Why does it not surprise me that you of all people would appreciate that photo the most? And I mean that in the most complimentary way possible 😉

  • September 2, 2011

    Your pictures of Boston are amazing. Sure it’s 100 degrees, but at least the scenery is gorgeous. Your post makes me want to go to Beantown again.

    • September 2, 2011
      Kristin

      I think it might tie New Orleans–OK, and maybe San Francisco–for most authentically beautiful city in the United States.

  • September 2, 2011

    I LOVE Boston, but you’re right, trying to do Boston in a day is totally exhausting. I think it’s a city to meander in. I love Cape Cod, love the little restaurants, loved little Italy, loved the old old graveyards, etc.

    I suppose my love for it may be that it was part of our honeymoon road trip. 🙂

    • September 2, 2011
      Kristin

      We went to Cape Cod next! We only had 24 hours in Boston, then we did the Cape in an entire day (eek!), a day in Martha’s Vineyard and a day in Newport. I’d been to Newport and Boston before, but it was still quite tiring to cram so much into such a short amount of time!

  • September 2, 2011

    Not much of a city girl, but looks interesting.

    I’m more jealous of you docking in Africa.

    • September 2, 2011
      Kristin

      We dock in about 12 hours! First up: Casablanca…then Ghana, then South Africa, and lastly Mauritius (within Africa)!

  • September 2, 2011

    Aw, love the pic of SVV pondering the Constitution and you jumping by the monument? Did you know I used to intern at the USS Constitution Museum? I would turn my head from my seat in the reading room at the computer, and BAM! A 200+ year old historic ship! Here’s an online exhibit I did for them as my thesis project: http://www.ussconstitutionmuseum.org/collections/online-exhibits/whipple-exhibit/index.html. 🙂

    • September 2, 2011
      Kristin

      No, I didn’t realize that! And thanks for reminding me it was the USS Constitution–I was so tired this morning (and lacking bandwidth on the ship to look it up) that I couldn’t even remember what it was called! =)

  • September 2, 2011

    My hoooomeeee!!! 🙂

  • September 2, 2011

    what a great walk!! and i esp love the photo of you jumping.

  • September 2, 2011

    I fell in love with Boston in early August, when I visited for the first time. I was only visiting for a weekend, but I had a blast and I can’t wait to visit again. Great photos. I especially love the one at the Bunker Hill Monument.

  • September 3, 2011

    I can’t believe that I’ve traveled the world and have yet to visit Boston…shame on me!

  • September 4, 2011

    I certainly hope your trip to Boston included a stop at Mike’s Pastry! Best cannolli EVER!

    xox

  • September 7, 2011

    The Freedom Trail is so amazing. Its worth traveling to Boston for.

  • September 8, 2011
    Sid

    Love the pic of you jumping in front of the monument.

  • September 11, 2011
    Sarah

    I loved your take on the place I call home. I live in Charlestown, and count the Constitution as one of my neighbors. Every morning, I run by her. Not a day goes by where I don’t feel lucky to live in such a pretty place.

    Any time you’d like a little free advice about New England, especially Boston, feel free to count me among your fans who are happy to help you out. 🙂

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